General News of Thursday, 20 September 2018
A forensic audit conducted into the financial management of six state institutions have brought to the fore how the former National Democratic Congress government, led by former President John Dramani Mahama, allowed a whopping sum of over GHC800 million belonging to the state to be misappropriated by his appointees.
The amount in dollars at the rate of $3.8 is over $218 million while a rate of $4.7 gives over $176 million.
Confronted with a plethora of alleged financial malfeasance under the previous government, the Akufo-Addo government decided to conduct a centralised audit to ascertain the extent of harm done to the national kitty.
A committee was, therefore, put together under the supervision of the Office of Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo.
Eighteen agencies were original to be audited but the committee was able to carry out audit on 16. Audit on 6 of them have been completed and reports submitted to the Economic and Organised Crime Office for the required action.
The six agencies involved are Ghana National Gas Company, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Ltd (BOST), Micro and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Ghana Free Zones Board, Ghana Standards Authority, and Ghana Telecom University College (GTUC).
A synopsis of the audit report on the six state agencies available to the Daily Statesman shows how state actors decided to employ various dubious ways to rob the nation of huge sums of money, without thinking about what the consequence would be for them and the nation.
The offences discovered in the various dubious transactions involve breaches of provisions of the Public Procurement Act, 2003(ACT663) and the Public Procurement (Amendment) Act, 2006(Act 914), in respect of inflation of contracts sums; non-performance of contracts and non-enforcement and breach of contracts.
The rest involve breaches of provisions of the Financial Administration Regulation, 2004(L.I.1802), regarding cash disbursements without authorisation; deposit of public funds into personal accounts and failing to account for accountable travelling allowances.
Ghana Gas = GHC391, 488,825.35
The sum involved in the malfeasance at the Ghana National Gas Company, under the management of George Sipa-Adjah Yankey, is close to GHC400 million. Included in this is an alleged financial loss to the nation in respect of the purchase of helicopters from China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC).
According to the summary of the audit report, the helicopters were “never…used for the purpose of its purchase”, causing a financial loss of $54,800,000 to the state. Also, equipment for the helicopters were never delivered even though a sum of $5,958,366.76 was paid as part of the contract price. Again, a sum of $300,000 paid for abnitio training cost was “not fully utilised for its intended purpose.”
The summary audit report also captures procurement irregularities of GHC34, 451,650.22 and GHC42, 351,110.17 respectively involving contracts with Memphis Metropolitan Limited and Kingpok Company Limited.
The report further cites procurement irregularities in contracts with Worral Lees and Associates and Technip UK Ltd and another payment to Tullow Ghana Ltd involving the sums of GHC1, 713, 375, 21 and $4,108,378.60 respectively.
The last procurement irregularity involves a contract of GHC6, 688,986.56 awarded to Adeabs Catering Services.
GTUC = GHC43, 434,162.30
According to the report, Prof Osei Darkwa, former President of the Ghana Technology University College, is expected to account for various sums involving GHC1, 503,720; $144,905 and 1,576,824 pounds sterling. The report also cites procurement irregularities, involving GHC11, 111,719; $118,934; and 545,324 pounds sterling that occurred under his watch.
Dr Baffour Awuah, also a former President of the same institution, allegedly misappropriated various sums of GHC263, 141; $80,015; and 1,011,500 pounds sterling.
BOST = GHC285, 561, 245, 80
According to the report, Kinsgley Kwame Awuah Darko, former Managing Director of BOST, misappropriated sums of GHC10, 498,465 and $33,305,527. Out the cedi amount, GHC83, 567.206 was transferred to the former Chief of Staff.
George Aborah, former General Manager, Finance, is also cited to have misappropriated GHC86, 418,225 and $8,088,986. Also, GHC40, 500,000 out of the cedi amount was transferred to the former Chief of Staff.
Others acts cited by the audit report include procurement irregularities of GHC14,272,126; excess cash management and transfer fees of GHC2,539,624.55 paid to First Atlantic Bank; amounts of GHC2,800,000 and $647,000 misappropriated by George Aborah and charged as consultancy fees paid to GKA Consultancy Services, a firm owned by Mr Aborah himself.
Ato Wilson, Project Manager of BOST, is also cited by the report to have misappropriated $9,572.34, apart from being associated with procurement irregularities of GHC14, 272,126.
Again, Kakra Essamuah, former board chairman of BOST, is cited in a misappropriation of sums of GHC1, 941,527 and $3,741,527.
GSA = GHC18, 812,660.90
The report has cited George Ben-Crenstsil, former Executive Director of the Ghana Standards Authority, in a misappropriation of sums of GHC1, 655,019 and $523,679, in addition to kickback payment of $1,200,000.
Also, the head of Procurement Unit of GSA, is cited in a procurement irregularity of GHC9, 056,266.
MASLOC = GHC3, 193,592.00
According to the synopsis of the forensic audit report, Sedina Tamakloe Attionu, former Chief Executive Officer of MASLOC, misappropriated an amount of over GHC3 million.
Free Zones = GHC11, 546,880
Also, Kwadwo Twum Boafo, former Executive Secretary of the Ghana Free Zones Board, has been cited in misappropriation of amounts of GHC3, 919,622 and $1,622,821.